Discover Magnesium Oxide: A Mineral Treasure!

Author: Evelyn

Oct. 12, 2023



Tags: Minerals & Metallurgy

1. Introduction

Magnesium oxide  is commonly known as bitter earth, also known as magnesium oxide. It is a white powder at room temperature (note that the light yellow powder is magnesium nitride, do not confuse it). As a typical alkaline earth metal oxide, it is not only odorless and non-toxic . Its melting point is 2852°C, its boiling point is 3600°C, and its density is 3.58g·cm-3. It is insoluble in water and ethanol. Magnesium oxide is usually "hidden" in magnesite and is "taken off" after high temperature. Magnesium oxide powder is formed, and 90% of this ore resource is distributed in the Liaoning region of our country, with the main production areas being Dashiqiao, Yingkou and Haicheng. As a gift from nature, magnesite has attracted much attention since its discovery. Products calcined from magnesite are also widely used in our daily lives.

Magnesium Oxide — Horselands

2. Magnesite formation environment

As the "residence" of magnesium oxide, magnesite, like black shale, coal seams and other sedimentary rocks, is produced from rocks with organic components. We might as well imagine the growth environment of magnesite: in a certain age In the humid swamp, many tree branches, leaves, and dried plant remains form a suitable environment for forming modern coal mines and coal resources. And because there is water and dissolved magnesium in this environment, it is an anoxic environment, so it is also suitable for the formation of magnesite. This is why magnesite is common in coal-bearing sedimentary rocks.

3. Why is magnesium oxide called a new magnesium material?

In recent years, high value-added products such as activated magnesium oxide, high-purity magnesium oxide, and nanoscale magnesium oxide have been successfully developed and put on the market. Some emerging high-tech magnesium new material companies have emerged one after another. So far, domestic new magnesium materials have formed three situations: high, medium and low, and products are also developing in the direction of functionalization, specialization and ultra-fineness. With the rise of new energy vehicles, 5G base stations, mobile phone cover glass, hydrotalcite, silicon steel and other industries, the application areas of magnesium oxide have also expanded. Nanoscale magnesium oxide is no longer monopolized by Japan and the United States, so magnesium oxide has gradually developed into a new magnesium material.

4. Applications of magnesium oxide

As a valuable new material, magnesium oxide can not only be used in some conventional fields such as construction and environmental protection, but is also an important "player" in some food-grade additives and feeds.

Construction sector

Light-burned magnesium oxide powder and MgCl2 aqueous solution are mixed in a certain proportion. After a series of hydration reactions, they can be condensed and hardened into a magnesium cementitious material with certain physical and mechanical properties, which is called magnesite cement. As a new type of cement, magnesite cement has the advantages of light weight, high strength, fire protection and heat insulation, energy saving and environmental protection, such as building insulation boards, packaging box frames, house door and window frames, granaries, and decorative plywood.

In addition, magnesium phosphate cement made from magnesium oxide also plays a great role at the most critical moment of the epidemic. Due to the "quick-drying" properties of magnesium phosphate cement, it can be formed within 2-3 hours of pouring. It can be used as building base materials, emergency road repairs, etc. Under special circumstances such as the epidemic, its capabilities cannot be underestimated.

Environmental protection field

Magnesium oxide also plays a great role in environmental protection. It can absorb toxic gases, chemically adsorb and decompose organic matter, and treat toxic heavy metals in wastewater. The magnesium oxide prepared by Armaghan et al. can effectively adsorb organophosphorus pesticides such as diazinon and fenitrothion.

Food field

Magnesium oxide can be used as a food additive, color-fixing agent, and acid-base regulator. It can also be used in health products or food-grade magnesium supplements; as a decolorizing agent in sugar refining; as a pH regulator for ice cream powder, etc. In addition, it can be used as an anti-caking agent and antacid in the fields of making cocoa powder, chocolate, milk powder, wheat flour, white sugar, etc.


In ruminant animals such as cattle and sheep grazing, convulsions can occur if sufficient amounts of magnesium are not consumed for an extended period of time. In order to solve such problems, we have the following two most commonly used methods to increase magnesium: one is to directly add light-burned magnesium oxide powder to the finished feed (purchased directly); the other is to mix magnesium powder with syrup. Add to feed. Magnesium deficiency is more likely to occur in beef cattle and sheep, and is less likely to occur in dairy cows. This is because the amount of concentrates in the daily feed of dairy cows is relatively large, while that of beef cattle and sheep is relatively small. , and the amount of magnesium added to the concentrate is appropriate, so cows are less likely to suffer from magnesium deficiency.

In addition, relevant research points out that in order to effectively increase the milk production of dairy cows, you can choose to add 0.5% magnesium oxide to the dairy cow concentrate supplement. This can increase the milk production by 1.6 kilograms on average and increase the milk fat rate by 0.145 percentage points. Helps increase feed intake. If you want to prevent heat stress in dairy cows, you can choose to add magnesium oxide to the diet. This is because magnesium ions can work with sodium ions and potassium ions to maintain the balance of intracellular and intracellular osmotic pressure and alleviate the response of dairy cows to heat stress. Thereby increasing the feed intake of dairy cows in summer and maintaining milk production from declining. In addition, it is recommended that in the case of heat stress, the amount of magnesium oxide in the diet should be increased to compensate for the loss of magnesium in the body, so as to ensure and maintain normal milk production. Both dairy cattle and beef cattle have a good balance mechanism to deal with excess magnesium ions, so appropriately increasing the dosage of magnesium oxide will not cause adverse effects on cattle.


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